Things to do
The journey to Lok Kawi Wildlife Park takes 30 minutes to an hour’s drive from Kota Kinabalu, the estimated distance is 20 kilometers.
For transportation, visitors can either drive or take a taxi from the city centre.
Lok Kawi Wildlife Park
If your time in Sabah is limited and you need to see the ‘live’ catalogue of some of the most prominent wildlife in Sabah, Lok Kawi Wildlife Park awaits you! Approximately 25-minute drive from Kota Kinabalu, sighting of wildlife here is guaranteed. See exotic wildlife such as the Malayan tigers, Borneo Pygmy Elephants, deer and various species of birds up close and personal. There’s also a botanical segment where you will get to know some of the common and unusual plant species endemic to Borneo.
Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre
You might not have all the time to find the cutest wildlife in their own habitat. And if your favourite wildlife happened to be the orang utan, all you need to do is to take a bus or a short flight to Sandakan. A bus journey will take about 6 hours from Kota Kinabalu while a short flight to Sandakan will only take 45 minutes. Arrange a taxi to Sepilok Rehabilitation centre and pay an entrance fee to see orang utan feeding at 10am or 3pm. There is enlightening video show on orang utan conservation just before the feeding time. Most visitors opt for day-trip but some orang utan fans would spend few days admiring these red apes of Borneo. They would stay in several private accommodations that are located within walking distance, complete with restaurant and other on-demand guest facilities. Sepilok Orang Utan Centre is approximately 23km from Sandakan.
Seeing Turtles at Turtle Island
Selingan Island or better known as Turtle Island is approximately 1 hour boat ride from Sandakan. Snorkeling or relaxing on this island is a bonus because this island has much more to offer. No doubt, waiting turtles coming to the shore to lay eggs are the main reasons that keep visitors from afar converge on this island throughout the year. Observe the collection of eggs, tagging of mother turtles and releasing of baby turtles into the sea. Visitors to arrange a 2D/1N package with local tour operators. Basic accommodation and restaurant provided.
If you expect to see a lot of wildlife in one go, then Sukau at the Lower Kinabatangan is the place to be. At 560km long, Kinabatangan River is Sabah's longest and Malaysia's second longest river. Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary is reputedly one of two known places in the world to be inhabited by ten species of primates four of which are endemic to Borneo. It is also one of two places in the world where four colobines inhabit the same place - namely proboscis monkey, silvered langur, maroon langur and Hose's or grey langur. Don’t be surprised to hear that this floodplain has the highest concentration of proboscis monkeys and orang utans in Malaysia.
Other wildlife include long-tailed macaque, pig-tailed macaque, Bornean gibbon, two nocturnal primates namely western tarsier and slow loris and other mammals including Asian elephant and Sumatran rhinoceros.
The 200 species recorded in the region are 8 species of hornbill (rhinoceros, helmeted, black, pied, wreathed, wrinkled, white crowned and bushy crested), oriental darter, several species of egret, Storm's stork, Sunda ground cuckoo, stork billed kingfisher, brahminy kite, crested serpent
Eagle - the list goes on.
Don’t worry about missing the opportunity to visit this biodiversity-rich site. There are several lodges ranging from budget to semi-luxury to accommodate you in your wildest dream to explore the wildlife paradise amidst Borneo’s lust green jungle. Advance booking recommended.
Tabin Wildlife Reserve
Tabin is yet another fantastic place to see wildlife in their habitat. This huge wildlife is nestled amidst 120, 500 hectares of dipterocarp rainforest, 50km from Lahad Datu town in the east coast of Sabah. Among the endangered wildlife for you to discover are the big three namely, Borneo Pygmy elephant, the Sumatran rhino and Tembadau. Tabin is also home to exotic birdlife with 182 species recorded by keen birders and over 70 species of mammals are reported to inhabit this reserves.
At Tabin, don’t forget to pamper your body and skin by indulging in mineral-rich mud volcanoes and salt springs. To reach the nearest volcano (Lipad Mud Volcano), take a journey of 23 kilometers by foot. Hike up to an observatory tower and you might see some wildlife frequenting the mud volcano.
Tabin is best explored through a 3D/2N package. Accommodation and restaurant here are operated by Tabin Wildlife Holidays.
If you are a wildlife enthusiast, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Danum Valley. Located 70km from Lahad Datu town at the east coast of Sabah, this conservation area is made up of primary forest. Trek in the wilderness to search for exotic wildlife including the endangered species such as the Sumatran rhino, banteng, Asian elephant, clouded leopard, orang utan and proboscis monkey. Avid birdwatchers will appreciate the luxury to indulge in their favourite activity from the 170-meter-long and 27-meter-high canopy walkway, which offers a peek into abundant bird life in the forest canopy. The conservation area also showcases beautiful waterfalls and rivers including Sungai Purut, a mesmerizing 7 tiers pool.
Visitors also have the option to visit the ancient Kadazandusun burial site. Three burial sites were found in Danum Valley - two near the field centre and one below the cliff, overlooking Borneo Rainforest Lodge. You will discover belian-made coffins and ceramic spirit jars at the burial sites - further evident of ancient human inhabitant here. On the way down, visitors can also stand a chance to take a dip in the refreshing jacuzzi pool. To best enjoy a trekking trip here, arrange a 3D/2N package and stay at the award winning Borneo Rainforest Lodge.
© Sabah Backpacker Operators Association 2009. All rights reserved.